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The Eric Burdon Band & Felix Cavaliere

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The Eric Burdon Band, Stop, Capítol SMAS-11426 Félix Cavaliere. Destiny, Bearsville BR6985 To those of us who grew up with sixties' music as our roots. these two men may have significantly expanded our musical vistas. I am a product of white suburbia. and I doubt if I could appreciate half of what I hear today if it weren't for the influence of these two among others. Eric Burdon is probably the finest white blues singer to come out of England. He brought blues into my head, where it has remained. His come-back was a source of some joy for me, mixed with apprehension. That apprehension has been justified. His new band has shown itself rather ignorant of the blues, and the material is not always well-suiied to his voice. Stop is full of numbers that, were it not for Burdon's voice, could easily be Deep Purple's. or any of the socalled heavy metal groups. Burdon still sounds good. less fat and more bone, but he isn't quite at home with this sort of music. He sounds best on "All I Do" and "Be Mine," and on "The Man," a type of song he has done well in his "Eric Burdon & the Animáis" phase in the late sixties. But he should be doing more blues. Cavaliere was the head honcho of the (Young) Rascáis, one of America's first blue-eyed soul bands. Any suburban rock band hadto play at least six or seven Rascáis' songs a night, or they wouldn't get far. Des'iny is much more mature in sound and texture than the Rascáis' recordings, but still has much of the feeling for soul niiisic that was that group's forte. Tliis comes aeross best on "Never Feit Love Before" which would liave fit riglit into the Groovin ' LP. The album is easy on the ears. perhaps too easy, yet you can still get up and dance lo il . But few of the songs compel the listener to get off hts or her ass and move it. However, the album is interesting. especially for the harpsichord in "Hit and Run." Leslie West's guitar in "Try to Believe" and for the fact that Laura Nyro has come out of seclusion to sing back-up on one number. (Felix produced her "Christmas and the Beads of Sweat" album.) The album is very soulful, and can stand right up there with Earth, Wind and Fire and the Four Tops in that category. Best of all, it is an antinostalgia effort, which showcases the growing talent of one of the popular mid-sixties musical minds.